4 Signs Your Home's Air Conditioner Is Low On Refrigerant

A home air conditioning unit is a complex machine with many mechanical components, but it can't operate properly if it is low on refrigerant. If your air conditioning unit is low on refrigerant, there will be several signs that you will notice. It is important to contact an experienced HVAC services company to make repairs if your air conditioner does not have enough refrigerant; an A/C doesn't use up refrigerant, so if the refrigerant level is low there is a leak. Some common sign of low refrigerant in a residential air conditioning unit include:

Your House Takes Longer than Normal to Cool Down

Refrigerant inside an HVAC unit plays an important role in absorbing the heat of the outside air that is being chilled and then forced into the house. If your unit is running low on refrigerant, it will not be able to effectively cool the air which can lead to having to wait longer for your home to reach the temperature that you desire.

Air Does Not Feel as Cool as It Used To

When your A/C doesn't have enough refrigerant, it can't cool down the air being pulled in. It is not uncommon for an  HVAC unit with a refrigerant problem to begin blowing air that is barely cool or even luke warm. If your house doesn't feel like it is cooling like it used to, stand under a vent while the A/C is running to see if the air blowing out is not as cool as it used to be.

Unusually High Electric Bills

An air conditioner that doesn't have enough refrigerant will have to run a lot longer in order to get a house down to the temperature set on the thermostat. In the hot summer months, this may mean that your A/C is running a lot more than normal, which can result in an unusually high electric bill. If you receive a sky-high electric bill without any changes to your energy uses, consider having your air conditioning unit checked out to see if it is leaking refrigerant.

Bubbling or Hissing Sound

As a homeowner, it is a good idea to inspect your outside HVAC unit on a regular basis, preferably while the A/C is running. If you examine the unit and hear a bubbling or hissing sound, this often means that refrigerant is leaking out. Do not attempt to try to fix the problem yourself-- air conditioning refrigerant is highly toxic, and a leak need to be repaired by an experienced HVAC technician. 

For more information, see a website such as http://www.capefearair.com.

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